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Ahold drops LERTA request for meat-packaging plant

By , - Last modified: October 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Ahold USA, the Cumberland County-based parent of Giant Food Stores, has withdrawn its request for tax abatements from Lower Allen Township, the county and West Shore School District on a meat-packaging facility it is building, according to the township.

The company was requesting a 10-year abatement through the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance laws, or LERTA, for the facility on Lisburn Road next to the Camp Hill state prison. Ahold is building a nearly 164,000-square-foot facility to package beef and pork products for sale at Giant stores.

Although the company sent an email to the township this morning withdrawing the LERTA request, it did not give a specific reason for the withdrawal, township Manager Tom Vernau said.

"While Ahold USA explored several potential locations for this facility, we are proud to build this facility in Cumberland County, which will create approximately 400 local jobs in the early phases and 850 new full-time jobs when it's at full capacity within three years," Ahold spokeswoman Tracy Pawelski said in an email announcing the withdrawal.

The potential for LERTA was just one of many reasons the location was considered, she said. The company will move forward with its plans for the facility.

"This wasn't a referendum on whether tax incentives are a viable economic tool, but it was the right decision for Ahold USA," she added in a phone call this afternoon.

In a hearing earlier this month, residents had expressed some concern over giving LERTA to a property that was already under construction and did not need to be incentivized.

The township commissioners were talking about voting on the proposal at the Oct. 22 meeting, Vernau said.

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